• European business eyeing Albay for investments

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    LEGAZPI CITY: With a good business climate and the best disaster mitigation and adaptation measures in the country, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is eyeing Albay province as the next hub for manufacturing in the country.

    The plan of the ECCP to expand its business opportunities in Albay coincided with the upgrading of the Legazpi City Domestic Airport as the new gateway for international chartered flights in Southern Luzon.

    In a letter, Henry Schumacher, vice president for external affairs of the ECCP, informed Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay on Sunday that the Philippine business groups and the joint foreign chambers have been active in recent months to develop a manufacturing blueprint for inclusive growth.

    Besides inclusive growth, Schumachar said that the business group is moving manufacturing, specifically that labor-intensive manufacturing, to new locations where a minimum of infrastructure is available, where industrial zones can be created, and labor costs are substantially lower compared to Central Luzon and Metro Cebu.

    “We feel that Albay could be such a location and we would like to discuss our concept in details with you,” Schumachar said in his letter to the governor.

    The economic boom in the Bicol region, specifically in Albay province, is expected following the upgrading of Legazpi airport as the new international gateway for international flights starting January 30 this year. About 200 Chinese tourists will visit Albay during the maiden direct plane flight from Xiamen, China, to Legazpi City on that day.

    The domestic airport here has been upgraded to serve as the new gateway for international chartered flights under Albay’s enhanced tourism program, that also targets tourists from other major markets like Russia and South Korea.

    The commencement of international flights to and from Legazpi City was possible following the overdue construction of the Bicol International Airport in Alobo, Daraga, Albay.

    However, even before the construction of Bicol International Airport, Legazpi City in Albay was identified by the Asian Institute of Management as the business next hub after Davao and Cebu.

    Business process outsourcing companies are also mushrooming and expanding their operations in Legazpi City outside from established hubs like Metro Manila, Cebu and Clark.

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